Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 10:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
Aug 24, 2003 (5:22 pm)
Well, as some of you know, I'm looking for a new car. I started looking to the Alero's, then the Jetta's, and a few days ago, I had my eyes set on a 99 VW Passat. But today, I found a Reflexive Silver 2001 Chevrolet Malibu (I have a white 97) with 25K on her odometer. She's the LS with everything except leather and a sunroof. There are a few scratches on the exterior, but over all it looks like a great vehicle. It's also certified by Chevrolet and GM. That's always a plus for me since I have had problems in the past. I wasn't able to see how long the warranty on her went since it was Sunday and there wasn't anyone on the lot to help (usually there is an extended warranty of some kind if she's certified). Anyway, I'm pumped! The internet price is $8990 and if I print the ad, they'll give me $100 towards my trade in. That's a plus too because I my car is an S-title and I owe $5K. I'm gonna basically tell them they need to pay her off or else. I'm sure, though, that I will run into trouble in that area. So what do you guys think? Good deal or do you think I'm in for another lemon? People keep telling me I shouldn't get another Bu, but the 97's were the first year of production and I've read that reliability on the 01's great. If I get this car and the intake manifold gasket thing happens again, I don't think I'll mind too much since I will be kinda expecting it. I DEFINATELY won't be taking it to the dealer to be fixed...I got hosed last time. Same thing with the alternator.
I forgot to mention it has brand new BF Goodrich tires on her; none of that Affinity crap going on.
Thanks for your input!
Aug 25, 2003 (4:35 am)
Not sure we know what an S-title is but since you're already familiar with the Bu, I'd say go for it. The '97-'99s had more problems than the '00s-'03s. You will however, have the intake manifold thing again, but you know that.
For reference, my '98 LS has roughly the same mileage (but with leather and sunroof), and I'd expect to see $5500 wholesale, $6500-$7000 retail for it.
Glad the Affinitys are gone; mine are too (have Goodyear Eagle GTIIs). As an aside, I'm glad the '04s don't have the Affinitys, but was hoping for Goodies or Michelins; we get Bridgestones. Oh well.
Aug 25, 2003 (5:14 am)
An S title is probably a salvage title, a branding iron, if you will, that goes on a former wreck that has been rebuilt. S titled vehicles almost always have lower values than non-S titles, as there is no assurance of how well the rebuild was done, and many consumers will not buy an S titled vehicle.
Aug 25, 2003 (5:34 am)
What happened at the dealer when you got your intake manifold fixed? Did they just over charge you or did they do shotty work?
Good luck on the trade.
#1901 of 4972 RE: my 99 malibu
Aug 25, 2003 (8:52 am)
Actually your list isn't too bad. The battery and alternator seem to be a problem. The head gasket probably made you blow your gasket. And the head control unit is not fun.
Somehow you have avoided the rotors and intake gasket manifold. At 125k miles anything can go. I would say you've gotten good life out of this car. Some annoying things but nothing too bad.
Aug 25, 2003 (9:09 am)
My advice would be to stick with you 97 Bu. With a S-title and owing $5000, you have a big red target on your chest for a salesman. Your vehicle is only worth about $2500 tops as a trade-in. Which means you are upside down $2500. That will get rolled over into your next loan, if they will accept it. Some banks put a limit as to how much the loan can be based on the value of the car. I doubt anyone will approve a loan for 125% of a 2001 Malibu. You may get approved but the interest rate is probably not competitive. Of course, I don't know how much money you have to put down on the car or your credit history.
Also considering how much trouble you have had with you current Bu, why take a chance on another? BTW, the reliabilty on the 2001 are not much better then the 1997. A lot of the same problems still exists: thin rotors, suspension problems, intake manifold. There just isn't as much data on the 200 as the 1997. I will remind you of the famous saying, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". Don't let the JD Powers report fool you. 90 days of ownership tells you nothing about the overall reliablilty of a car.
#1903 of 4972 Something Else to Consider, Jeremy
Aug 25, 2003 (10:02 am)
If you want to chance it, you might want to wait another 3-4 weeks. That's when the '04 is officially on-sale and then the '01 will be another year older (so will your '97, but that's not a big hit). I believe that GM can certify vehicles up to 3 years old, so that shouldn't go away.
In case you got a bit confused, the mileage on my car is near 25K, not the mileage on your '97. FYI: a neighbor sold his '97 (not an LS, nor an S-title; few options) last Jan., 90K miles and got $1900. A friend sold his '98 (not an LS nor S-title; lots of options) in March, 85K miles and got $3200.
#1904 of 4972 GM alternators
Aug 25, 2003 (4:20 pm)
Don't reward GM for their crappy alternators by getting a dealer replacement. Look for a quality rebuild from an independent supplier which will probably save you at least $100 installed. You may get a longer warranty, too.
Aug 25, 2003 (6:09 pm)
Longer warranty? How so? GM factory replacement alternators have a lifetime warranty, at least at my dealership. SOME aftermarket alternators are FAR superior to factory authorized rebuilt ones. Most aren't.
Aug 25, 2003 (7:27 pm)
On the intake manifold gasket - the work wasn't shoddy, just WAY overpriced....by like $400 in my opinion.
On the alternator thing to JohnClineii - The lifetime warranty is only on the WORK preformed. Not the alternator itself. The warranty on the alternator is 3 years. (i.e. say your alternator falls off the engine because it wasn't properly secured after replacement, that would be covered for life. If the alternator fails, the warranty is only good for 3 years from the time of installation.
The car: Well, so much for that silver Malibu. It sold just like every other car I've looked at. And as far as a new one - no thanks. Not until I get out of college and can REALLY afford it. I can't stay with my Bu because I have a feeling my front bearings are going out. My neighbor had the same problem with his 99 and paid $900 to get them replaced. He said a warning sign of the worn bearings is one single pop sound when you turn the wheel to either side...well guess what I'm hearing. I cannot afford to spend another grand (if you include the intake manifold) on getting this car fixed, just to have more problems down the road...literally!
On other boards, I hear people being "a little peeved" because they have to shell out a measly $120 on a non-warranty repair on something like a Passat or TL...give me a break. Try $1400 in repairs over a 6 month period. And it's funny, too, because those people who complain about $150 on their car, own like 3 fairly new, mid 30's to mid 40's, priced cars. SUCK IT UP AND GIVE ME A BREAK! You can OBVIOUSLY afford it. I'm not talking about anyone here, because if we could afford cars like that, we would be driving TrailBlazers or newly ordered Malibu's.
ANYWAY, back to the subject at hand: Tonight, I found a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE with the 3.4 liter V6 with power everything and sweet stock alloys. I has just under 25K on her! All for under $10K. I spoke to the dealer about my trade. He never asked if my Bu has been salvaged, so I never told. He said they would pay it off and add nothing to the sticker price of the Grand Am. I guess the salvage thing will just come out when (if) I sign the papers. The way I see it is it's the car the dealership will soon own. It's their responsibility to ask before they make any verbal offer. Now, if they refuse to fully pay her off after learning that it has been salvaged, I'll just walk out. Oh well, because I'm not about to have 2.5K rolled over into my new car payment. HECK NO! Their loss. And since it's the end of the month, I'm sure that they'll be beging to get cars off their lot.
Can you tell I'm a little cranky tonight?!? I'm just really frustrated with the whole car-buying process.
Any more help or advice would be appreciated. One last note: If I can help it, I will not be keeping this car. I'm really freaked about the potentially bad bearings. I love her, but the burden has got to go. The only thing that will stop me now is the bank denying our loan, which I don't think will be happening. Wish me luck on any vehicle I get!